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by Tim Beissmann

Strong July sales by Japanese and European automakers have offset another slow month of new-vehicle registrations from Ford and General Motors in the US.

Honda (116,944 units, up 45 per cent), Volkswagen (48,893, +28 per cent) and Toyota (164,898, +26 per cent) led the way in the market, and were well supported by Nissan (98,341, +16 per cent), Subaru (25,183, +16 per cent) and Jaguar Land Rover (4331, +14 per cent).

The leading Detroit-based manufacturers took another hit, however, with General Motors down six per cent to 201,237 units and Ford slipping four per cent to 173,482.

The mixed results saw the total US market rise nine per cent in July for a total of 1.15 million vehicle sales. The result was off the pace of the first half of the year, in which the market rose 15 per cent compared with the same period in 2011.

Despite the dip, the market still remains on track to eclipse 14 million sales for 2012, with 8.43 million vehicles sold in the first seven months of the year.

Both Ford and GM blamed July’s losses on a quiet fleet market, with deliveries to those buyers down 16 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

The third member of the Detroit Three, Chrysler Group, bucked the trend, enjoying its 28th consecutive month of growth in July. Sales increased 13 per cent to 126,089 on the back of double-digit percentage gains from Chrysler brand, Fiat and Ram.

The Ford F-Series pick-up remains the top-selling vehicle in the country. It recorded its 12th straight month of growth in July as sales increased to 49,314 – with 42 per cent of F-150s sold equipped with an EcoBoost engine.




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